by Harold Friend
Moore Tweaker always rooted for the St. Louis Cardinals. She lived in Minneapolis, but she followed the Cardinals on 50,000 watt radio station KMOX. In 1965, she managed to get some tickets to the All-Star game and fondly recalls how Bob Gibson struck out Joe Pepitone with the potential tying run on base to end the game.
No New York Yankees
In 1965, for the first time in the history of the All-Star game, not one member of the New York Yankees was selected to the starting line-up. To add insult to injury, Bill Skowron, whom the Yankees traded to the Dodgers in 1962, was the American League's starting first baseman.
National League Favored
The American League has dominated the All-Star for the last few years, but many fans don't realize that the National League has won 41 times, compared to the American League's 37 victories. In 1965, the National League was favored to win for the third consecutive time, and seventh time in eight tries. Each league has won 17 times.
Gene Mauch Managed
Players, coaches, and managers voted for the team, and much to my chagrin, no Cardinals made the starting lineup. Because Johnny Keane, who managed us to the 1964 World Championship defected to the Yankees, Gene Mauch of the Phillies, whose team suffered one of the most ignominious collapses in history, replaced Keane as the National League manager.
Willie Mays Led Vote-Getters
Another jab to the Yankees was that Willie Mays led all players in the voting. Willie received 250 votes. Runner-up Vada Pinson garnered 17 votes, all from the Giants, who were not allowed to vote for any of their own players. Mickey Mantle had been selected as a reserve based on his former accomplishments, but he was injured (what else?) and Tony Oliva replaced the irreplaceable Mickey.
Future Hall of Famers
The National League was loaded. The starting batting order included five future Hall of Famers (Mays, Aaron, Stargell, Banks, and starting pitcher Juan Marichal). Pete Rose was the second baseman. The National League bench included future Hall of Famers Roberto Clemente, Frank Robinson, Billy Williams, and future Hall of Famers among the pitchers included Bob Gibson, Sandy Koufax, and Don Drysdale.
The only future Hall of Famers to start for the Junior Circuit were Brooks Robinson and Harmon Killebrew. Al Kaline and Carl Yastrzemski were on the bench. No future Hall of Famers were on the pitching staff.
Home Runs by Willie Mays, Hank Aaron, and Wilie Stargell
The National League was highly favored to take the lead in the series for the first time, and they did. After two innings, the National League had a 5-0 lead on home runs by Willie Mays, Joe Torre, and Willie Stargell. Juan Marichal hurled three scoreless innings against what was considered one of the weakest of all American League All-Star teams.
The American League Rallies
But baseball is like life. Don't count your Euros before you have them. The American Leaguers roughed up fire baller Jim Maloney for one run in the fourth and then tied the game with a four-run fifth inning on home runs by Dick McAuliffe and Harmon Killebrew.
The Winning Run
The winning run was scored in the National League's half of the seventh inning against Sudden Sam McDowell. Willie Mays led off with a walk. It is not a good move to give Willie Mays a free pass to first base. Henry Aaron singled to right field, and Willie challenged Rocky Colavito's cannon arm. Of course, the National League now had runners on first and third with no outs.
Willie held third as Roberto Clemente forced Aaron at second, but Ron Santo hit a chopper over the mound. Zoilo Versalles fielded the ball behind second and fired to first, but the slow-footed Santo beat the throw as Willie scored what proved to be the winning run.
Willie Misjudges a Fly Ball
Dick Farrell retired the Americans in the seventh, and then my hero, Bob Gibson, pitched the eighth. It got a little scary with two outs. Gibby walked Versalles, Bill Freehan singled to center and he took second on the throw to third. When Jimmy Hall hit a 380-foot drive to center field, I felt relief when I realized the ball would stay in the park, but then I felt panic when Willie stumbled going after the ball.
Willie Mays, yes, Willie Mays, actually misjudged Jimmie Hall's deep drive. When Hall hit the ball, Mays backpedaled, slipped, got up, moved back, and made the catch. End of threat.
Joe Pepitone Ends It
In the ninth, there was more trouble, but no scoring. Tony Oliva led off with double to left center. This was not the Bob Gibson I knew and loved. Oh, yes it was. Max Alvis tried to bunt Oliva over to third, but he popped up the bunt. Gibson grabbed it before it hit the ground.
Harmon Killebrew struck out on a 1-2 fastball for the second out, bringing up the Yankees' Joe Pepitone. On a three-two fast ball, Pepitone swung and missed.
The National League led in the series, 18-17. They won every game until 1971, and then won 11 consecutive games until 1983. The American League is still trying to catch up.
Yankees Fail to Gain a Place On American League All-Stars. (1965, July 1). New York Times (1857-Current file),23. Retrieved February 10, 2010, from ProQuest Historical Newspapers The New York Times (1851 - 2006). (Document ID: 101554280).
Willie Mays Paces Voting for All-Stars :MAYS TOP CHOICE IN ALL-STAR VOTE. (1965, July 4). New York Times (1857-Current file),S1. Retrieved February 10, 2010, from ProQuest Historical Newspapers The New York Times (1851 - 2006). (Document ID: 101555114).
By JOSEPH DURSO Special to The New York Times. (1965, July 14). National League Wins All-Star Game, 6-5, With Help of Three Home Runs :MAYS AND TORRE CONNECT IN FIRST American League Ties Game After Trailing by 5-0 -- Infield Hit Decides. New York Times (1857-Current file),40. Retrieved February 10, 2010, from ProQuest Historical Newspapers The New York Times (1851 - 2006). (Document ID: 96706863).